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Dystopia: 03

February 15, 2010 9 comments

As I have said in previous posts, it appears that we are living in a Dystopia. I have some more observations on that..

Imagine that you are an unskilled or skilled manual worker.

Your earning ability has not increased since the 1970s. Sure, some things (tvs, computers, food) have become cheaper but others (housing, insurance) have not. Your ability to save money is close to non-existent. While you may be lucky to have a trade or skill that is in demand, that might change very abruptly. How many times can you retrain? How many times can you go back to school? How many more times will you take out a loan to learn a new career? How long before it is outsourced or your job is undercut?

Do your kids have upward mobility through education? Is education worth it? Can you afford to live in a society which cannot exist without active cooperation, but in which a humane existence is elusive? What kind of marriage/ LTR do you have? Are you happy in it, or just dreading the day you will be dragged to the cleaners? Does your woman stand behind you, or spend all her time undermining you?

Ever wondered what will happen once you are too old or can no longer work your manual job. Will Social Security or Medicare be still there? What type of an old age will you have? Alone or with a nagging bitch? Quite the options, huh..

Imagine you are a white collar/ professional worker/ small business owner.

You may have started life in a somewhat better position than the blue collar worker, but does it matter now. The company you work for might outsource your job forcing you to work as a contractor/ take less pay or change careers. Once again.. how often can you change your careers? how often will you move?

Even if you spent 10 years after high school learning a specialized skill (as a student or a low paid flunky), it still does not matter.. Careers that were once secure and well paid are becoming extinct. The worse part is that many lose jobs in their late 40s and onwards, at the same time they would entered their peak earning decades. All their sacrifices are rendered worthless especially since the small businesses, startups and consultancies that kept them going are also rapidly disappearing.

Even if you are financially ok, your SO/ wife could still take you to the cleaners. You might spend a lot of money on the upkeep of kids you rarely see. And what are future prospects for your kids? Would a university education help them? Never mind..

Even a government job is no guarantee of stability, because of a shrinking tax base. They will try to honor their pensions before caring about the younger ones.

Imagine that you are a well paid professional.

Does law, med or business school still offer you a guaranteed path to financial success? Law school is already showing the problems inherent in saturation. Business school might not be a good idea in a world where there is less and less to manage. If you think a medical career will still pay the same in 5-10 years from now, think again! Who will be able to pay that much for medical care? Your customers have poorly paying jobs, no savings, no accumulated wealth.. nothing. Plus there are a lot of aging baby boomers, and the generations after them are too small to pay for them and their kids (if they have any!).

Did I mention the wife, alimony and kids problem? Ya!

So there you have it.. This cannot end well, can it?

Linkfest (15 February 2010)

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

In other news..

Milestone Figures Grab Attention, but Their Impact Is Hazy

The milestones are the result of our brains’ attempts to impose order and assign categories to numbers that vary continuously. “You have to be able to draw some emotion or feeling from information in order to understand it,” says Paul Slovic, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon.

“Round numbers loom large in people’s consciousness,” Ms. Osler says. She notes that this may extend back to when counting was manual and five and 10 fingers were natural units.

For Some Firms, a Case of ‘Quadrophobia’

A new study provides further evidence suggesting many companies tweak quarterly earnings to meet investor expectations, and the companies that adjust most often are more likely to restate earnings or be charged with accounting violations.

Regulators Hired by Toyota Helped Halt Acceleration Probes

At least four U.S investigations into unintended acceleration by Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles were ended with the help of former regulators hired by the automaker, warding off possible recalls, court and government records show.

Revenge of the Wall Street Traders: The Fat Cats Strike Back

They have already proven that they will destroy the country if you let them, and the only thing you can trust them for is that they’ll happily do it again and host a pep rally afterward to celebrate.

Top five health insurers posted 56 percent profit gains in 2009

According to a study by a pro-health reform group published Thursday, the nation’s largest five health insurance companies posted a 56 percent gain in 2009 profits over 2008. The insurers including Wellpoint, UnitedHealth, Cigna, Aetna and Humana, which cover the majority of Americans with insurance.

Can Eurobanks Take a Greek Default?

Yves here. This is to remind readers that as much as the press and the pols are depicting the Greek/Club Med problem as the the spendthrift vs. prudent nations, the problem not just the prospective extension of credit, but all the debt from these countries and their banks now sitting on the books of institutions in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland.

Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis

As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Categories: Linkfest, MSM Idiocy